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The following is a personal reflection from a staff member in Galway Community Café.


Eating Disorder Awareness Week was February 26th to March 3rd 2024. Having lived experience of an ED journey, I wanted to share a little about my experience. I smiled when I saw the title of the shared blog, “Food for Thought” – the irony!

For many years of my life, all I did was continuously obsess over food; what I was allowed to eat and what I wasn’t. I had the constant voice of my eating disorder (E.D) either berating me, or telling me how great I was doing restricting my food intake. There were many lies which my E.D had told me like “you don’t have an eating disorder, that takes willpower which you don’t have”, “you eat too much and have no control”. The biggest lie it told me was “when you’re X amount of weight, you will be happy”. That happiness never came no matter how low my weight was. I was tired all the time but I could not rest. Constant anxiety kept me awake at night. When loved ones showed concern for me, my eating disorder told me “they just want to make you fat, trust no one, only me”.

For many years, I struggled silently, unwilling to accept I had an eating disorder. I eventually got to a place of complete darkness. I had become numb to everything and everyone.  I was just existing. I was lucky to have such a supportive GP, who provided ongoing support over the years and linked me in with mental health services. I was so tired of it all. I wanted some peace from my E.D. Slowly, I opened up, started talking more and gradually began to see how my eating disorder had ingrained so many lies and insane rules within me. I slowly began trusting others, believing them over my eating disorder.

Coming into recovery, I was afraid. I didn’t want to let go of my E.D completely, could I just keep parts of it? Eventually, I came to understand that I had to go all in. This was not easy. In fact, it was probably the hardest but most worthwhile thing I’ve ever done, and for me, recovery got worse before it got better, but it did get better. My E.D still whispers in the background sometimes, but I am at a distance from it.  I am no longer just existing, I am living and enjoying life, with all of its ups and downs.

I remember the first time I had a proper belly laugh in recovery and realising I had not felt that for a long time, and I wanted more of that. I learned what worked and helped me in recovery, how to handle emotions in a healthier way, and slowly began to trust myself. That is not to say I don’t struggle at times. I do, and my E.D waits happily in the corner. But I put one foot in front of the other and keep going. I never want to feel that numbness again and that pushes me forward.

Eating disorders affect everyone no matter your gender, age, race, or body type. There are many different eating disorders and behaviours, but they are all equally as harmful as each other.

I hope that if you are on a similar journey, that you can join me in no longer just existing, but in living.



If you would like the space to chat with someone, Galway Community Café is here to provide support and information which may be helpful to you or your loved ones. Book a space to have a chat with us, or contact us on 087-1085134

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